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An Artist a Day: Joseph Cornell

Okay, so I admit to not actually personally knowing this artist in my lifetime, but after a long and relaxing Memorial Day weekend, I thought he would be an ideal person to wrap up Artist Tuesdays with his careful curated collage and assemblage work. Thanks to all the artists who participated this month leading up to my one year blog-iversary and first complete series!

Joseph Cornell, born at the turn of the 20th century was known for the collages he created. Often placing boxes inside of boxes and arranging images amongst tiny collections.

His work was collected by many prominent art collectors in his time. Cornell spent most of his life living in Queens with his family. ┬áHe also kept some of New York’s most talented ballerinas as his closest friends. Sometimes in his work, these references appear.

I heard that he trolled around flea markets and antiques shops in search of pieces of a bygone era, in this way his art begins a historical recollection.


Doesn’t this remind you of a designer’s inspiration board?

Every time I style my mantle or set up a tableau on my desk his work inspires me, I feel like I’m arranging a narrative, just as Cornell would have.

Or when I look at a toy collection, I get a feel for his style.

You could make your own Cornell box. Shadowboxes are some of my favorite ways to display art these days. I will be doing this in Joelle’s room, working with her to arrange her own collections.

For that I have found, this white 12″ x 12″ Shadowbox frame.

I think it is the perfect depth and shape to hold a collage of memories.

What type of collections do you keep? Please send photos to hilary.hahn@34.202.201.240 and I’d love to share them with other readers here.

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